Wadi Feiran is the biggest wadi on the west side of the Sinai. It opens on the coast, winding inland through progressively high, rugged ranges. It’s home to a gigantic palm grove that early pilgrims and travellers once called the ‘Pearl of Sinai’. Today, Wadi Feiran has been by-passed by tourism. It has a feel of the Sinai’s ‘Wild West’ about it and old Bedouin traditions are still strong. There are no hotels and English is almost non-existent, meaning it can be tough to visit. Nevertheless, you’re always on the edge of an adventure and some will relish the challenge. Read more about using Wadi Feiran as a TREKKING BASE here and browse our GALLERY to see pictures from all of its treks.
JEBEL SERBAL CIRCUIT – Jebel Serbal is a mass of rugged pinnalces, gigantic cliffs and deep, shadowy ravines: a dream of a mountain. Early travellers called it the ‘Crown of Sinai’ for all its pointed peaks. The Nabataeans climbed here 2000 years ago and early Christians thought it was the real Mount Sinai of The Bible. Israelis trekked here in the occupation but only a handful of the most intrepid trekkers visit today. The classic trek is a short, three-day circuit; this book makes the mountain the focal point of a bigger, circular route, which is exactly what it deserves. You climb the peak in the first half, moving around the back of it in remote, bouldery wadis on the second. The scenery is magnificent, as is the history. Ancient graffiti is found all along and you can sleep in old Christian hermit cells and tread crumbling Byzantine stairways. It’s a superb but serious undertaking. Gradients are steeper and altitude gains bigger than elsewhere and there’s also plenty of scrambling.
JEBEL SALLA – A short, half-day trek to a high, sugarloaf-type peak. It’s capped with one of the most spectacular sets of ruins in the Sinai: Byzantine churches, cells and ‘walkways of faith’ straddle sheer precipices around the top. The peak was first documented in the 1860s, though it has been largely forgotten since. Sinai: The Trekking Guide is helping to put it back on the map. It’s a good ‘warm up’ for the Jebel Serbal Circuit.
WADI FEIRAN TO SERABIT EL KHADEM – This route connects Wadi Feiran with Serabit el Khadem and has exceptional historical interest. You’ll see Pharaonic mines worked 4000 years ago and the most extensive set of Egyptian ruins outside the Nile Valley at Serabit el Khadem. There’s also Wadi Mukattab (The Written Valley) with its hundreds of Nabataean inscriptions. The trek starts through low, unremarkable ranges but the scenery soon improves as you follow a sheer ravine through one of the wildest and most untrodden mountain massifs on the peninsula. The beautiful, stark plateau lands of the north follow. There are difficulties organising this route so planning is key. On top of this, you go through a patchwork of Bedouin territories, sometimes needing a new guide in each. If you just want to see Serabit el Khadem you can do the last stage of the trek, taking a bus to Abu Zenima, then an onward jeep to Serabit.